The Michigan Maritime Museum
The Michigan Maritime Museum is dedicated to the preservation of Michigan Great Lakes and waterways maritime history and culture. The Museum collects objects related to the maritime history of the Great Lakes with an emphasis on items pertaining to the state of Michigan.
Five separate buildings offer a variety of engaging opportunities for the Museum visitor, including permanent and changing exhibits on Michigan maritime history, a center for the teaching of boatbuilding and related maritime skills, and a regionally renowned research library. Waterfront festivals and events are complemented by the hustle and bustle of a modern harbor and vast sandy beaches in one of west Michigan's most picturesque shoreline communities.
The Michigan Maritime Museum has several galleries housing temporary exhibits. In the Akers Gallery, we have our newest exhibition, "War on the Great Lakes!", commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The little-understood conflict determined Michigan’s place within a young United States and helped forge a sense of national identity. The exhibit houses historic documents, paintings, archeological artifacts, weapons used in the conflict, faithful replicas and ship models to illustrate the causes and consequences of a pivotal time in Michigan’s history and of what was then our young nation. “War on the Great Lakes” gathers materials from more than a dozen museums, including several in Canada, private collectors and skilled craftsmen to offer the people of the Great Lakes region a unique compilation of what might otherwise only be viewed by driving hundreds of miles, from Illinois to Niagara Falls and Lake Superior to Detroit. The Michigan Maritime Museum will also sponsor special events commemorating the declaration of war, the capture of Friends Good Will, its own replica’s namesake and the Battle of Lake Erie. A guest speakers series offered throughout the exhibit will enhance educational opportunities for all. Audio devices accompany the self guided tour, offering more depth to a fascinating topic.
In the Davis Gallery, a supporting exhibit to the War on the Great Lakes details the Battle of Lake Erie.
In our last gallery, we have a hands-on children's exhibit entitled "Are YOU Brave Enough To Be A Sailor In 1812?" Designed for kids to experience life onboard a ship through interactive activities and educational panels, kids will learn about everyday chores, food, hobbies, illness, sail training, lookout duties, sleeping and storage areas, and weather patterns.